Monday, April 21, 2014

Dendrobium batanense or Ceraia pseudoequitans' (Fessel & Lückel) M.A.Clem 2004?

I brought this orchid because I was intrigued by its appearance and its growth pattern.  It adapted easily to my climatic conditions.  Because I was concerned that this plant roots could rot during the rainy season I planted it in limestone rock.   During the summer, in my locality, it can rain every single day for months.  The plant originally was potted in fine bark, but in my locality this media would have become waterlogged within days of the start of the rainy season.   Since the plant arrived in my garden it has been producing new canes steadily in a manner that doesn’t seem related to seasonality.   I suspect that if I fertilized the plant more heavily during the rainy season, the canes would be larger, but it hardly seems worth the bother to give more care to a plant that seems to grow well enough with standard care.

During the last two years this orchid has bloomed sporadically with small numbers of blooms.  But a strong rain event, in the middle of April, which is at the height of the dry season, seemed to stimulate this plant to produce buds.  During the weekend of April 19-20 the flowers opened.  A bit over one hundred flowers were present on 17 inflorescences.   A few inflorescences had only two or three flowers most had between six and eight. 

This plant has an untidy growth pattern that give it an appearance resembles a fright wig, so some grooming is desirable.  All the canes of my plant have grown toward the strongest source of light with the result that the plant is asymmetrical with all the canes hanging to one side.  I plan to move it to a place where it will get a more uniform exposure to strong light.   Unlike the flowers of its relative Dendrobium crumenatum, the flowers of Den. batanense last several days.

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